Catalan is what's known as a Romance language and is named for its origins in Catalonia. It is the official language of Andorra and is also used in Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, and the Valencian Community. The origins of the language are rather interesting and stem from what's called Vulgar Latin around the 9th century. As people developed the language over time it evolved into the mature form that is seen today.
There are between 7.2 million and 11 million native speakers, most of which exist in one of the previously mentioned communities in Europe. The official language family of Catalan is Indo-European and is used second only to the Spanish language in many parts of Europe. Catalan uses inflectional grammar with two genders, masculine and feminine, as well as both singular and plural forms.
The writing language of Catalan exists in two main forms, Latin, also known as the Catalan alphabet, and Catalan Braille. There also exists a form of writing used when signing called Signed Catalan but it not nearly as common. It is officially recognized as a minority language in Spain, France, and Italy.